Waiting is hard because it feels like doing nothing when you should be doing something. But it’s easier to do when you consider it an action rather than inaction. Choosing to wait is doing something. So you can let go of the anxiety that you’re doing nothing. 

Still, active waiting is hard. Like conscious breathing, it’s a difficult but universally useful skill. But because it is a skill, it can be developed and eventually mastered.

The first thing to learn when to wait. The answer is always. Waiting should precede every action. You can train this by actively waiting before small actions. A good exercise is to add a deep breath before every step in a routine process, like making coffee or preparing for bed.

The second thing to learn is how long to wait. This is hard because the answer can be a second or a decade. You can wait too little, and you can wait too long. This one comes with experience and I don’t have enough to teach it. But it starts with learning when to wait.

(New York)